Cross voting by Opposition legislators in the Rajya Sabha polls in the State rocked the Assam Assembly on Monday, with the Speaker adjourning the House as many as four times and Opposition members staging a noisy protest to stall the proceedings, alleging horse trading by the ruling Congress.
As soon as the House met, Opposition members — led by Leader of Opposition Chandra Mohan Patowary — stood up with placards with slogans like “Save Democracy” and “Disqualify the legislators who cross voted,” wanting to discuss the alleged horse trading and cross voting by some Opposition legislators.
Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai, however, disallowed them from raising the point or order, saying that the House was not the forum to discuss such things.
The Opposition members also demanded the resignation of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress coalition government, accusing it of murdering democracy by indulging in alleged horse trading to win the Rajya Sabha polls.
Members of the treasury benches stood up to deny the Opposition allegations and levelled counter allegations. Amidst the din the Speaker adjourned the House, and had to adjourn it three more times during the day as the Opposition continued its protests.
As the House reassembled for the fifth time at 1.28 p.m. for taking up the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2010-2011, the Opposition members again raised the protest and rushed into the well of the House to press for their demands. The House passed the Bill while the Opposition members were protesting with the Speaker.
Later, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reacted angrily to the Opposition move on not cooperating in passing the Bill, and accused them of being anti-poor, anti-weavers and anti-farmers.